Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday and perhaps that’s no surprise but it is to Nico Rosberg who was sure he had pole covered on his last lap.
Hamilton, having made a mistake on his penultimate attempt, atoned for his error with a sub 1:30 lap. The 3-time champ was in a little hot water after he reversed his car in parc ferme, which you are not allowed to do, but there was no penalty given for his actions.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel thought there my be something to play for when his penultimate lap was just a tenth or two off the Mercedes of Rosberg who was, at the time, on pole. Final laps proved that the Scuderia have a ways to go and it does seem that my hunch of 4-5 tenths off the pace is correct.
The notable performances were certainly Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean who slotted 9th and could be claiming the American team’s legitimate position as a top-10 fighter.
There were serious expectations for McLaren after Jenson Button had gone third fastest during FP3 but it was Fernando Alonso’s stand-in driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, who was the shining star with a 12=place slot on the grid besting his venerable teammate.
Pascal Wehrlein was also a talking point as his Manor car slotted 16th and I have to think had this new debacle of a qualifying system we had, again, he may have done even better.
The new qualifying system was better than Australia but in the end, it is antithetical to what it was trying to do which was get more cars to run longer and upset the grid as well as create exciting qualifying. Q3 ended with nearly three minutes left on the clock. There were drivers in Q2 who had more to prove but had to park with 5 minutes left in the session.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m30.854s||1.361s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m31.620s||2.127s|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m31.772s||–|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m31.816s||–|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m32.241s||–|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.911s||–|